As Private Investigators, D & I Security engages in a large variety of work not usually associated with the industry in the mind of the public. For example, we’ll do Process Service, find people – Skip Tracing, locate debtors, work for Insurance Companies, etc. Some PI agencies deal only in tracing. Some deal only with Domestic Cases, and even others simply work on Insurance claims. We do it all.
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A handful of firms specialize in technical surveillance counter-measures, sometimes called electronic counter measures, which is the locating and dealing with unwanted forms of electronic surveillance (for example, a bugged boardroom for industrial espionage purposes). This niche service is typically conducted by those with backgrounds in intelligence/counterintelligence, executive protection, and a small number from law enforcement entities whose duties included the covert installation of eavesdropping devices as a tool in organized crime, terrorism and narco-trafficking investigations.
Corporate investigators specialize in corporate matters, including anti fraud work, loss prevention, internal investigations of employee misconduct (such as EEO violations and sexual harassment), the protection of intellectual property and trade secrets, anti piracy, copyright infringement investigations, due diligence investigations, malware and cyber criminal activity, and computer forensics work. Some PI’s act as professional witnesses where they observe situations with a view to reporting the actions or lack of them to a court or to gather evidence in antisocial behavior
An undercover investigator, undercover detective, or undercover agent is a person who conducts investigations of suspected or confirmed criminal activity while impersonating a disinterested third party. Undercover investigators often infiltrate a suspected insurgent group, posing as a person interested in purchasing illegal goods or services with the ultimate aim of obtaining information about their assigned target.
Many undercover investigators carry hidden cameras and recorders strapped to their bodies to help them document their investigations. The period of the investigation could last for several months, or in some extreme cases, years. Due to the dangerous nature of the job, their real identities are kept secret throughout their active careers. Economic investigations, business intelligence and information on competitors, security advice, special security services information, criminal investigation, investigations background, and profile polygraph tests are all typical examples of such a role.
Undercover investigators are often misinterpreted as being similar to a police officer or deputy, however, they are quite the opposite. As opposed to a police officer, a private or undercover detective is trained in keeping a low profile, and are under no requirement to wear a uniform or a badge. Police are trained to be direct in their approach unless using a disguised vehicle.
Certain types of undercover investigators, depending on their employer, will investigate allegations of abuse of workman’s compensation. Those claiming to be injured are often investigated and recorded with a hidden camera/recorder. This is then presented in court or to the client who paid for the investigation.
Across the world
Many jurisdictions require PI’s to be licensed. Depending on local laws, they may or may not carry a firearm, some are former law enforcement agents (including former police officers), some are former spies, some are former military, some used to work for a private military company, and some are former bodyguards and security guards. While Private Investigators may investigate criminal matters, most do not have police authority, and as such, they are only limited to the powers of citizen’s arrest and detainment that any other citizen has. They are expected to keep detailed notes and to be prepared to testify in court regarding any of their observations on behalf of their clients. Great care is required to remain within the scope of the law, otherwise the investigator may face criminal charges. Irregular hours may also be required when performing surveillance work.